A mermaid chained to a cattle grid, 200 kilometres from the sea, is not what Adani contractor BMD expected to find on its way to work on Friday morning.
Actor and activist, Janie Gibson, staged a theatrical blockade to send a message to Adani, BMD and the Australian government that the Adani Carmichael mine is a carbon bomb that will accelerate catastrophic climate change. Dressed as a mermaid, Gibson chained herself to a cattle grid to stop workers from entering the BMD work camp and continuing work on the railway corridor that is critical to Adani’s Carmichael mine. A placard shared her message “Mythical Creatures: Mermaids & Honest Coal Barons – Don’t Trust Adani”.
Motivated by the urgency of the climate crisis, Gibson has put her body on the line to stop the Adani coal mine and defend the sacred water sources of the Great Artesian Basin. “Burning coal is the leading cause of climate change. We have seen Australia devastated by fires this summer and some of my family and friends were affected. All this has happened whilst our government is investing public money to extract new coal reserves and giving away precious groundwater for free. It is a completely ridiculous situation driven by greed and corporate influence. Until now, writing letters has not worked, lobbying the government has not worked, protesting in the street has not worked. It’s time that all Australians stepped up and put their bodies on the line to defend our right to life”.
Janie grew up in the coal mining city of Newcastle NSW and her grandfather was a lifetime employee at the BHP steelworks. “While coal mining has been an important part of many Australian towns and communities, it is fast becoming a stranded asset. With companies like ANZ and BlackRock divesting from coal, it is clear that we need to transition to new technologies and clean energy sources. While countries like Germany are closing down their coal fired power plants, Australia is being left behind in the 20th century. It is communities like these in rural Queensland that will be left high and dry; without groundwater, without jobs and without a Great Barrier Reef. And with this mine projected to release 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon over it’s lifetime, it is now a global issue.